Autism is a complex developmental disorder which is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting the area of social interaction and communication. Over 30 years of research has demonstrated that an intense ABA program does lead to significant, permanent changes in the way the brain operates.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), simply stated, is a research based style of teaching and learning. It involves using techniques such as prompting, fading, shaping, and reinforcement of your child's behavior. By using these techniques, your child will be able to learn new skills with ease while having fun!
An ABA program is very individualized to each child's abilities and interests. An initial assessment will be completed, typically using the VB-MAPP and completing a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). These assessments are used to find your child's current skill set, complete your child's individual programming, and track your child's progress. Program goals are then established and therapy begins. Regular meetings will be arranged between you and your child's BCBA to discuss your child's progress which will be represented on graphs; your child's ABA program is 100% data driven.
All of our ABA programs at KCA include individual 1-on-1 therapy and a mixture of group/ social setting daily. We have varying levels of group setting to meet each individual child's needs.
As cited from the BACB.com site: "Services should be provided as soon as possible after diagnosis, and in some cases services are warranted prior to diagnosis. Evidence suggests that the earlier treatment begins, the greater the likelihod of positive long-term outcomes. Comprehensive ABA treatment can result in reduced need for services as the child grows older. However, research also demonstrates that ABA is effective accross the life span. Older individuals may need intensive and comprehensive treatment, especially if they present with dangerious behaviors. Research has not established an age limit beyond which ABA is not effective."
The Verbal Behavior- Milestones Assessment Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is an assessment tool that is typically used with a Verbal Behavior program. The assessment is used as an assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system. The VB-MAPP is language based looking at multiple domains such as requesting, labeling, imitation, following directions, and pre-conversational skills, just to name a few. From the assessment, an individualized program for your child is created.
Please click on VB-MAPP for more information about this assessment.
ABA is the most comprehensive and most effective approach to improving your child's quality of life. It is a well documented and researched therapy that has proved to be very effective for children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other similar diagnosis. ABA is supported by the Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and by the National Autism Center's National Standards Report.
The more intense your child's program is, the faster his/her progress will be. The research states that an intensity of 25-30 hours per week shows the best long term outcome. It is typically recommended to have no less than 5-10 hours per week. The hours for your child may vary depending on your child's skill set and need. We have worked with children as much as 20 hours per week and as little as 1 hour per week. (However, we strongly recommend at least 2 hours per week to aid in consistency and increase learning opportunities for your child).
Verbal Behavior (VB) is a behavioral approach that combines Intensive Trial Training (ITT) and Natural Environment Training (NET). This means that some of your child's therapy will be therapist controlled and completed in a very structured manner, such as while working at a table (ITT). During some of the session, the therapist will follow your child's lead in learning activities, such as when playing with a toy, dancing or singing to music, or completing a puzzle
It is in the best interest of you and your child to have a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) oversee your child's ABA program. BCBA's have completed specific classes, field work, and supervision on the correct implementation of ABA principals and procedures. BCBA's then must pass a board certification exam before becoming certified as a BCBA. After certification, BCBA's are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education credits yearly. ABA is a science that continually advances its practice to best serve your child.
Your child should be immersed in ABA every hour that he/she is awake. This does not mean that he/she should be drilled on skills constantly, but if your child approaches you and wants milk, you are able to use that moment to teach your child how to appropriately request "milk". It is very important to have everyone in your child's life be involved in his ABA therapy in some way. Consistency is very important in establishing your child's behavior and his/her acquisition of new skills.
It is beneficial for your child to have more than one therapist to aid in your child's ability to generalize skills between various people. The number of therapists that you child may see varies on your child's needs and schedule. Each therapist carries out the exact same ABA program and is trained specifically on your child's individual needs. A BCBA is directly involved with each child's program. Each therapist brings their experience and expertise in certain areas, such as education, parenting, research, and behavior to reach each child individually at their level.